Kurt Loft, Classical Voice North America, 19th April 2023

Mention the name Anton Bruckner and you might expect crickets from friends and two-for-one tickets at the box office. Unless you’re in the big city, Bruckner is a tough sell, as his colossal, unhurried works require stamina on both sides of the proscenium.

The Florida Orchestra will present a novel approach to the composer’s typically grand-scaled Seventh Symphony by stripping it to the bone, with only a dozen musicians onstage, in concerts April 21-22. The point is to offer an intimate rather than intimidating experience, says music director Michael Francis. Instead of a full orchestra wrapping itself around the 65-minute work, a rarely heard chamber version invites listeners to step inside the music.

“All the notes and harmonies are the same, you just don’t have the big number of players,’’ Francis says. “There’s something really compelling about it, and it takes you on an emotional journey once your ears get used to it.’’